Cooperatives are familiar to many small town people from the farmer’s co-ops and the rural utility cooperatives. Really, any kind of business can be a cooperative. At the BALLE conference, we heard about worker-owned cooperatives and how they can help develop an area economically. This can work in small towns as well as big cities.
Evergreen Cooperatives is a network of for profit businesses, owned by the workers in Cleveland. They are finding strong markets by attaching businesses to anchor institutions, like Case Western University and area hospitals. They pay much better wages than competitors and offer benefits. Worker-owners buy in 50 cents at a time, over a three year period.
“I have a shot. I’m back in the game. I’m relevant again,” worker-owner Medrick Addison said. “Who would have thought that an ex-con from Cleveland would be quoted in Time Magazine and Newsweek?”
Addison said he is reminded every day that ownership is the key.
Businesses include commercial laundry and linens, solar energy generation, greenhouses and food production. All are market driven and for-profit. The difference is that the wealth that is generated stays in the community.
- Seasonal business: How to beat the annual “no bookings!” panic - August 8, 2022
- Recession? Practical steps from 3 international peers - August 3, 2022
- Reaching “at risk” kids for local jobs - July 15, 2022
- 3 Major factors in rural remote work: incentives, flexible workspaces, and a sense of community - June 6, 2022
- How to recruit new residents, remote workers, or remote entrepreneurs - June 2, 2022
- How cooperatives improve small town economies - May 8, 2022
- Metaverse business idea: virtual world tour guide - April 15, 2022
- Make extra money from extra workspace: co-working and 3rd workplaces in small towns - March 28, 2022
- Trade show booth design trend: hand drawn visuals - March 21, 2022
- New business sign design? Don’t use cursive script - February 14, 2022